Putting yourself last - How making others happy, could be making you sick.
My whole life I have been consumed by guilt. From my parents, teachers, bosses, friends, boyfriends, and even my children, all seemed to be able to control me through guilt.
This perpetual state of guilt I was living in, was suppressing any chance of happiness from happening in my life.
My constant need to make others happy was taking a massive toll on me, and I was paying for it with my physical and mental wellbeing. With my health and happiness at an all-time low, I knew I needed a change In a big way.
There were two reasons I put others first. One was because I loved them. The other, was because I feared what would happen if I said no; and honestly, 90% of the time I said yes to others was for reason number two.
However, as much as I tried to break free, let go, move on, so on and so on, I couldn’t. I just felt stuck, trapped, immobilized by GUILT.
I was always concerned with how the choices I made for myself would affect others. Eventually, I would give up on my wants or needs, for fear of being "SELFISH."
What this deep fear of being selfish really translated to, was that I did not feel that my wants and needs were worthy.
I had a profound belief that other people needs and wants mattered more than my own.
Not only did others matter more but it was somehow my responsibility to continually try to cater to their needs, putting myself last.
I was caught in a vicious cycle and in my attempts to make others happy I was making myself sick.
There is a fine line between trying happiness to someone vs feeling you have to try to make them happy or there will be a consequence. For much of my life, I was very confused by this and never really understood that you can't make others happy.
Let me say that again, you can't make others happy, you can offer, give, and bring them joy, but you can not make them happy.
The same holds true for ourselves, only we can create our happiness, and that means we alone must care for ourselves.
Saying yes to yourself when you are so deeply programmed to only say yes to others is not an easy task. The thought alone can start to produce so many feelings of guilt that you give up before you even begin.
Guilt and shame are some of the hardest emotions to escape. They are deep, heavy emotions, that weigh on us physically and mentally.
These two emotions are one of the main reasons we overeat.
The very act of eating is an attempt to further bury these feelings deep inside us.
The more we deny our own needs and wants, the more we try to bury the emotion of feeling unloved. However, this only results in creating more guilt, shame, and worthlessness building up within us.
If we genuinely want to start saying yes to ourselves, then we first need to decide we are worth saying yes to ourselves.
Keep in mind as you begin to practices this you will undoubtedly come face to face with fear and resentment from others, and that’s ok, in time others will either adjust to the new you or simply move out of your experience. The way to get past the fear is by being 100% all in that you are worth it.
The best way for you to find your worth is to shift the way you look at yourself.
Picture this, if you are a mom or if you have nieces or nephews or if you have a beloved pet and you saw someone abusing or taking advantage of the child or pet, would you sit and watch???
You would automatically say something or stop them immediately, no questions asked.
However, when it comes to ourselves, we seem to be able to justify or accept the abuse, as something we deserve. We then convince ourselves that we have contributed to it or brought it upon us in some way.
But what if we start to look at ourselves as our child self.
What if the next time we find ourselves doing things for others out of fear. We take a moment to see the child version of ourselves, and we say “No” for them.
Protecting our inner mini-me is the first step in creating our self-worth. By standing up for our inner child, we are standing up for ourselves.
We cannot go back and change the past and erase traumatic events that may have happened to us, but we can move forward in protecting ourselves, just as we would any other child or animal.
Next time you want to make a choice purely for yourself, but fear what others might think. Think of doing it for the child in you, think of making the best choice you can that will honor and protect that part of yourself.
Being able to put yourself first and letting go of guilt and fear, takes time and practice. But like anything in life, the more you do it, the easier it gets.
The road to recovery is a journey and never easy, but by changing the foods we eat, our daily habits and with proper support and coaching, success is achieved.
To get started and to be a part of a
heart-centered support group for women wanting to lose weight and overcome food addictions.
Join my new Food Over Mood Facebook group
And remember... Little steps in a new direction lead to bigger and better destinations.
I love hearing from you guys. Let me know below in the comments if you too have struggled with trying to please others out of guilt.
Love and Wellness